TRAILER: ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ – Two Shades Of Farhan Akhtar

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s returns to direction after four long years with ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’. Here’s the verdict on the theatrical trailer.

MUMBAI: While the entire world had seen the teaser promo of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ six months ago, there surely has been buzz about what different is the new theatrical trailer going to offer. Here’s our verdict. 

The first visuals – a racetrack, a border facing ground and the military cantonment and a newspaper headline that sends the country in frenzy – “Main Pakistan Nahin Jaonga”.  And we have Farhan Akhtar a.ka Milkha Singh speaking to Dalip Tahil a.k.a Jawahar Lal Nehru in Punjabi, “Sir mere se nai hona, mere pair nai udne.” While we see the stamp on the passport showing Government Of Pakistan, and an audience at a political meet eagerly waiting for Milkha Singh and shouting “Kahan Hai Milkha Singh?” we have the same thought on our minds, where has the sportsmen’s life disappeared?

At one end we see an aggressive Farhan Akhtar bashing his inmates, the second moment he is atop a train running and practicing hard. If not that, he is sweetly romancing Sonam Kapoor in true Punjabi style and planning of bearing several kids with her. But somewhere amidst this sweet-sour tale is a journey that leads to making Milkha Singh the man he is.

Sadly the trailer does not invoke us to root for the dark horse. Instead it’s just a glorified physical workout video of an athlete with Farhan Akhtar trying to fancy off his six-pack abs and beefed up muscles, running and skipping hard to come close to the legend.

With this it only lessens the power of the original Milkha Singh and the simplicity of the character looks lost. Well even ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ was a story about an athlete and it was told as simplistic as possible. Did Farhan Akhtar really need to have that six-pack abs?

Coming back to the trailer, what follows is how Milkha Singh becomes the biggest athlete amidst pressures. And as Farhan Akhtar makes way through the finishing line and the title comes by, we see another mysterious figure following him.

Is it his alter ego? Is it someone else? Well we don’t know. All we know that the trailer focuses on more heroics than the legend’s simple yet hard life. All we see Farhan Akhtar, and his two shades – his violent streak, aggression on one side and unappealing humor at the other.

The only best part of the trailer is Siddharth Mahadevan who inspires with his voice and pays a riveting tribute to the legend, in all gracefulness.

“Tu jag, ab to jag Milkha, Tu bhaag, ab tu bhaag Milkha, Tu aag, tu hai aag Milkha”  

And it takes us back to the same first question asked at the beginning of the trailer – Where is Milkha Singh amidst all this?

‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ produced by Viacom 18 and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra releases on 12 July.

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